Holiday Baking - Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

Holiday baking in our family has evolved over the years. In my high school days, I loved to set aside an entire weekend to make all the holiday treats. Marzipan bars, chocolate chip cookies, decorated sugar cookies, molasses cookies, rum balls rolled in coconut and sprinkles and thimble cookies just to name a few. I'd bake up a storm at the beginning of December. When I was in University, this baking spree was my reward for finishing exam season. I'd make up all sorts of treats and we'd freeze them until the holiday gatherings started to come around. 

Holiday baking looks a little different since starting the soap business. If you're reading this in December we are in the heart of our busiest season of the year, working around the clock to get your gifts to loved ones as quickly as possible. We're a lot like Santa's workshop except it smells better in the soap factory and there isn't a jolly old man in a red suit. Just a bunch of ladies singing Christmas carols while making soap, bath bombs and packing orders! So safe to say, there aren't entire weekends to set aside to do holiday baking but we get our fill of baking in about six months from now :)

Here's a new tradition we've started up.

Christmas in July. In July I baked these yummy little gingerbread cookies and Olivia, our head soap maker also happens to be a master cookie decorator. She decorated these beautiful holiday inspired cookies for our holiday photoshoot. Imagine plus 30 temperatures, humidity as high as it can be and holiday music filling the soap factory. While everyone lives at the lake for the summer, we're baking up holiday! 

I'm sharing the recipe below to make the gingerbread cookies, this cookie gives a really good balance of sweet and spice and the cookie itself comes out firm enough to decorate but has a nice and chewy texture. 

Gingerbread Cookie Recipe

3 cups all purpose flour 

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup molasses

1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves, set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, beat until combined. Add egg, molasses and vanilla, beat until combined. Beat in as much flour as you can. Stir in remaining flour. Cover, chill dough for 3 hours or overnight. 

2. Preheat oven to 375. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to about 1/8" thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out your cookies. Arrange the cutouts about an inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

3. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are light brown. 

If you're not ready to put icing on cookies once cooled, store these in the freezer until you're ready to start decorating cookies. Place cookies in layers in an airtight container and separate with wax paper or parchment paper.

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